MGT Assignment Guidelines
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Oral Case Reports
team will present its recommendations for the assigned case to the class.
If the team plays the role of an outside consulting firm, the
class/audience might play the role, for example, of the firm’s
principal shareholders and industry analysts. Thus, the oral
presentation should be conducted in the most professional manner possible:
clarity, brevity, impact, energy, passion, and persuasiveness all are very
important. Total presentation time for
reports may be presented in any style you wish, however most reports are
likely to cover the following:
issues and outlook, external analysis, internal analysis, and
strategic recommendation (mission, goals, and detailed action plan). Since
the oral report limited in duration, presenters should identify only the
most important "pre-recommendation" issues (» 4-5 minutes).
Presenters should therefore emphasize the action plan (» 8-10 minutes).
Presenters are required to prepare overheads using Microsoft PowerPoint.
For better visibility, use at least 24-32 point font for
most text, chart labels, etc.
prepare a one-page executive
summary of your presentation bring enough copies to distribute to
everyone in the class (about 50 copies).
"handouts" (perhaps printed in 4 slides per page format) to the
each presentation, the class will fulfill their concerned
shareholder/analyst roles by asking salient, challenging, and probing
questions (» 5-10 minutes) of the presentation team. To encourage
participation, I may randomly select one or two teams to serve as Q&A
discussion leaders. (NOTE: This format requires that presentation
be well-rehearsed and ALL "shareholders" be fully prepared.)
- A copy of the Oral Report Evaluation Form
may be found here.
Report Content and Structure
* Refer to the Fuji-Xerox written report (above) to
provide some content and structure ideas and guidelines.
In terms of organization
and content, you are welcome to present oral reports using any
format/style you see fit. However, each case report will often
include the following components in some form or fashion:
- Issues and Outlook Profile:
This section should broadly address only the most important issues
confronting the firm? What is the significance of each? What has been the
firm’s level of/interest in international activities up until the
"end" of the case? Has the firm been successful? Why? Could the
firm be successful? Very broadly, where is the firm headed? Consider a 3-5
year time frame both before the "end" of the case and into the
future. (No histories, please. Be mindful of who your "audience"
is. The "executives" of the firm are in the audience and are
already knowledgeable about the firm.)
- Analysis of the Global Competitive Context: Which environmental forces are most likely
to influence the firm’s actions and future performance:
international competitive, economic, political, cultural, technological,
or legal forces or actors? Who are the firm’s present/future
customers? ...competitors? Use these questions to develop list of
opportunities and threats and briefly discuss why each are important.
- Analysis of the Firm’s Capabilities: What are the firm’s sources of competitive
advantage? Has the firm approached strategic management in a way that
leverages its competitive advantage and/or potential for success? Does the
firm follow a strategy appropriate for the matrix of environmental
forces? Use these questions, and others, to develop a list of
strengths and weaknesses and discuss why each is important.
- Action Recommendations:
This section comprises the largest, most important single section of the
paper and should be given the most weight and attention. It may be most
helpful to put yourself in the shoes of an outside consultant who is been
hired by the main characters or the top-management team (TMT) in the case.
To receive your full consulting "fee," you must persuade
them to adopt your specific recommendations instead of some
competing consulting team’s recommendations.
- First, specify a mission statement for
international involvement for the firm. (Written: Use italics to set
off the mission statement from other text. A sentence or two before
and/or after the mission statement may be included for clarification,
intent, and/or elaboration.)
- Then, a set of specific goals --
financial and/or strategic goal need to be identified. Also, provide some
indication as to the timeframe by which each goal is to be achieved. Use
numbering or bullet point format to draw attention to each one. Have a
set of goals which is either too simplistic (only one or two); nor too
complex (7-8 goals).
- Next, develop a detailed strategic action
plan which addresses all or most of the salient issues you identified
in the sections above. For example, you might have identified a new,
attractive industry segment to sell to (external analysis); yet, the firm
lacks the experience and/or resources to move into the market with
sufficient speed or force (internal analysis). You might then recommend
that the firm form an alliance with another firm. However, you must
provide more specific details about the critical aspects of
alliance formation: partner selection criteria, degree of formality
(equity-based vs. loose commitment); contributions of each partner (cash
vs. technology vs. distribution channel vs. marketing knowledge);
relative control over alliance for each partner; roles and
responsibilities of each partner; and, expected results for the alliance.
NOTE: This section should be as complete as possible. That is, your
strategic action plan should leave very few issues identified in the
External and Internal analysis sections unresolved.
- The best plans are likely to be broken up into
discrete, identifiable components and sub-sections (like those identified
in the alliance example above). Each component of the overall
action plan should contain the following: a label for each strategic
action, a set of specific tasks to be carried out, justifications, a
brief description of new resources required/to be developed, and a brief
description as to how this action component will contribute to the
attainment of one or more of the goals identified. For oral
presentations, this is easy to accomplish - since each PowerPoint slide
can help you effectively delineate one idea from the next.
It is not necessary to have one-for-one goal-action pairs. In some
instances, specific strategic actions can relate to more than one goal.) Your
overall plan of action and set of goals should, in many cases, be challenging,
yet achievable -- creative and innovative, yet feasible.
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